HMAS Toowoomba proves interoperability in the Middle East

This article has photo gallery Published on POA Sean Byrne (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Toowoomba (F156)

HMAS Toowoomba's embarked MH60-R helicopter 'Nightmare' lands on the ship's flight deck after conducting a patrol in the Straits of Hormuz as part of the International Maritime Security Construct. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
HMAS Toowoomba's embarked MH60-R helicopter 'Nightmare' lands on the ship's flight deck after conducting a patrol in the Straits of Hormuz as part of the International Maritime Security Construct.

HMAS Toowoomba’s embarked MH-60R Seahawk, known as ‘Nightmare’, is a valuable contribution to the International Maritime Security Construct in the Middle East that includes Albania, Bahrain, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Leading Seaman Aircrewman Ian Gollop says Nightmare contributes to surface surveillance which enhances the tactical picture beyond the visual horizon by compiling data from active and passive sensors for the IMSC and the ship.

“The surveillance serves to locate, identify, track and investigate potential threats to maritime security,” Leading Seaman Gollop said.

“We regularly provide the link between the Combined Maritime Forces’ assets, such as the United States Navy fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft and HMAS Toowoomba.”

Flight 1, 816 Squadron Flight Commander and pilot, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Hudson, says Nightmare’s ability to cohesively work alongside coalition assets demonstrates the Australian Defence Force’s close alliance with the other partners of the IMSC.

“We continue to be an integral capability within the construct and have proven our interoperability with other nations,” Lieutenant Commander Hudson said.

“Our maintenance team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have a serviceable asset to compliment Toowoomba’s arsenal.”

Toowoomba is providing support to the IMSC and the Combined Maritime Force’s Combined Task Force 150 in the Middle East as part of its six-month deployment on Operation MANITOU.

The ship’s company’s support to the IMSC and the CMF is part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to international efforts to promote security, stability and prosperity in the region.

This is the 68th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy unit to the Middle East since 1990, Toowoomba’s sixth, and her second as part of Operation MANITOU.